The Premier League responds to Saudi Arabia’s piracy accusation as it threatens to derail Newcastle United takeover

Mike Ashley

According to The Guardian, new legal documents linking Saudi Arabia with BeoutQ could derail the Public Investment Fund’s £300 million bid to own Newcastle United.

BeIN Sports have accused the Saudi-based television broadcaster of illegally broadcasting live Premier League matches to subscribers, costing them millions in the process, and that could see the PIF fail the owners’ and directors’ test, which states that digital piracy is prohibited.

Parties looking to buy English top-flight clubs must not provide false, misleading or inaccurate information according to the test, and having denied any link to the BeoutQ piracy, the Saudi consortium could miss out on buying Newcastle if Premier League lawyers are able to prove that the kingdom indeed owns the TV.

The Shields Gazette has asked the Premier League for comment on the new legal documents, and here is the 13-word response they gave:

“We aren’t able to comment on anything around this or give any guidance.”

The “no comment” response shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the takeover going forward.

Some Premier League clubs could also gang up to block the move, citing commercial concerns as a reason why the Newcastle takeover shouldn’t be ratified.

Toons owner Mike Ashley is said to be growing increasingly annoyed that the takeover hasn’t happened as he was expecting it to have gone through two weeks ago when a nonrefundable £17 million was deposited by the PIF, and it will be interesting to see what happens as the delay drags on.